Congressman Faleomavaega today tells CNN International that he supports the proposed date changes in the Independent State of Samoa. During the five minute interview, Faleomavaega applauded Prime Minister Tuilaepa and his Cabinet for the proposed plan to move the International Date Line (IDL) east of Samoa, which in effect, puts Samoa a day ahead of American Samoa. The IDL is currently to the west of both Samoa and American Samoa.
“The proposed switch makes sense economically for Samoa,” said Faleomavaega. “Historically, the IDL was originally east of the Islands of Samoa until 1892, when it was switched to facilitate trade interests with Hawaii and California. Apparently, times have changed and we no longer share the same political and economic needs with our cousins in the Independent State of Samoa. I believe this is an excellent decision and I fully support PM Tuilaepa’s plan to return the IDL east of Samoa,” Faleomavaega added.
Because the IDL is not governed by any international treaty or laws, any nation may unilaterally make the decision regarding its own time zones. The most recent change was in 1995 when the IDL was moved east of Kiribati.
“While much is to be determined, there is no reason to believe that the proposed switch will significantly change the existing political and economic relations between American Samoa and the Independent State of Samoa,” Faleomavaega explained.
“Moreover, I think this will provide an excellent marketing strategy to boost tourism and better streamline business transactions between Samoa and her Pacific neighbors – especially New Zealand and Australia – and many of the countries throughout Asia. Although we have not thoroughly reviewed this latest change of time by Samoa, I’m sure we will find areas that will complement our needs as well,” Faleomavaega concluded.